Going into the conference finals, was 6-6 and I predicted Edmonton in 7 and Carolina in 7.
So now I’m 8-6, and guaranteed to be over .500 for the playoffs. amazing. lucky. I guess. Heck, Maggie the Monkey won the playoff pool on TSN, and was just 9-5.
So anyway…. It’s going to be an interesting series. I’m going to pick Edmonton, and I’m going to pick them in 7 games.
It’s a tough call, because ultimately, this time of year, the two teams are generally very evenly matched and playing well (or they’re GOLFING ALREADY!); to me, it usually comes down to a couple of key guys who know how to elevate their game that last little bit, who refuse to NOT make a difference.
And both teams are full of those guys.
For edmonton, you have Pronger, who’s impressed the hell out of me, and Roloson in goal, and Jason Smith, and Mike Peca. Any one of which could be a legitimate Conn-Smythe candidate; but to me, it’s Roloson’s award to lose if Edmonton takes this, and if he does, he’ll lose it to Pronger.
For Carolina, it’s Rod Brind’Amour, and it’s Doug Weight, and to a lesser degree Ray Whitney — and a bunch of other guys contributing as well, but in the world of “game changing” and “series changing” goals, and experience, and history, and willingness to sell-it-out — it’s Brind’Amour as Conn-Smythe if Carolina wins this.
I can’t wait to see Pronger and Brind’Amour go at it. Could be classic.
But I really have come to feel this is Edmonton’s year. both teams have earned it — hell, so did Buffalo, but someone’s gotta lose. And Roloson on a run, and Pronger — being Pronger — I’ll go with the Oilers. But if I’m wrong, I still won’t be disappointed; Carolina’s a hell of a team, too.